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Fitness center newest addition to Marshall Square

Posted: August 25, 2012 - 11:15pm
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Mike Montarbo, co-owner and general manager of Evans Fitness Club, stands on the second floor of the center that is expected to open Nov. 28 in Marshall Square.  Jenna Martin
Jenna Martin
Mike Montarbo, co-owner and general manager of Evans Fitness Club, stands on the second floor of the center that is expected to open Nov. 28 in Marshall Square.

A high-tech fitness facility is a few months away from opening in Marshall Square, where it will be the fifth business to locate in the mixed-use development.

Evans Fitness Club has been under construction on the 31-acre site since early 2012.

While the 53,610-square-foot center isn’t expected to open until Nov. 28, more than 1,000 people have signed up as members since Aug. 10, said the co-owner and general manager Mike Montarbo.

Montarbo and wife Lisa, of Martinez, paired up with another family, Bill and Traci Smith, to turn their dream of operating a fitness center into a reality.

“It’s a mom and pop,” Montarbo said. “It’s not a franchise.

“This is just two families coming together with a good idea and a common goal.”

When it opens, the gym will have “a little bit of everything for everybody,” Montarbo said.

Members walking through the glass entryway will be greeted with an open floor plan and a variety of activities.

Downstairs will feature free weights and plate-loaded Hammer Strength equipment. The first floor also will house the facility’s 22-foot-tall rock-climbing wall, steel octagon cage for martial arts and self-defense classes, 40-yard sprint track, racquetball courts and spinning room.

The spinning room will extend onto the second floor, which includes a cardio deck, sports training areas and space for yoga, pilates, aerobics and other classes.

“We want to be able to offer multiple classes at the same time,” said Montarbo, adding that the gym can accommodate seven different classes at once.

Incorporating natural light, provided by several floor-to-ceiling windows, also was important for Montarbo.

Each locker room will include showers, saunas and steam rooms. Day-care services will be provided for members.

A smoothie shop and weight loss center located inside the gym will be available to nonmembers.

Montarbo, who spent 10 years in the fitness business training athletes, said he wanted to give residents an affordable and accessible place to work out.

“Our motto for this gym is bringing big city fitness to your backyard,” he said.

Evans Fitness Club, which will employ about 40 people, will be open from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sundays. The monthly membership fee is $29.99, and the early registration rate for families is $59.99.

More information can be found at www.evansfitnessclub.com.


Other business owners have found Marshall Square an attractive place to call home.

After Chili’s opened in 2009, the development remained dormant for three years.

Earlier this year, however, First Command Financial Planning opened, and the finishing touches are being put on a five-story TaxSlayer building, said Marshall Square developer Don Lawrence.

Also under construction is the 10,000-square-foot Evans Dermatology Center.

“We’re very pleased,” Lawrence said. “We’re pushing for more, though. We want to keep it going.”

About 16 acres of the development remain vacant, and Lawrence said he’s in discussion with several potential buyers or tenants primarily, in the restaurant industry.

An adjacent portion of the property is owned by Columbia County. At the time of its purchase, county officials said they plan to eventually resell the property for commercial development.

The site currently provides overflow parking for Evans Towne Center Park.

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Comments (5)


Another gym?

Just what we need another gym. With all the empty grocery stores in the area, why not one of them?



Martinez/Evans needs a Gym with saunas and steam rooms! SO excited that you guys are opening here in Evans!


No Basketball?

Why not have a basketball court? Many would buy membership just for that and not crowd the equipment.

Dennis Parker

fitness center

That particular blog post is written artistically and it includes many practical knowledge for everybody. I guess you've carried out a great job of handling this delicate



So let me get this straight.....My wife and I together pay the same monthly rate, plus one cent, as a husband and wife with10 kids?